Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2022

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Assege HaileMariam

Thesis Committee Member

Anne M. Walk


The current study examined pre-service teachers’ knowledge of behavior management strategies, early intervention, and developmental delay. Data were collected from 107 participants. Thirty-two were pre-service early education teachers currently enrolled in educator prep courses and 75 were in-service early education teachers. Participants completed an online questionnaire that included the following topics: problem behaviors, evidence-based practices, preschool expulsion, and educator prep courses. In-service teachers were better than pre-service teachers at identifying the top three commonly observed preschool student problem behaviors. For evidence-based practices, a majority of pre-service and in-service participants indicated that they would probably or definitely (4 and 5 ratings) utilize several preventative practices in their classroom and provided specific examples or how the practices would be implemented. Most participants (66.6% pre-service and 55.8% in-service teachers) noted no reason for a preschool student to be expelled. Those indicating that expulsion was acceptable reported that a student could be expelled in the case of extreme and harmful behaviors. When asked about the frequency that certain topics were discussed in their educator prep courses, there were no statistically significant differences between the pre-service and in-service responses. Future research and implications of these findings are discussed.